The Trend: Leaner And Meaner
Retail package: garish green grabs attention.
Many novices think that a computer with an IEE1394/ Firewire interface is enough to transfer video material from their digital camcorder to the PC and then edit it later on. But they stumble across the limitations in no time. No one can get very far without professional software and capture and video editing hardware for real-time effects. Now, for US$599 (749 euros), Matrox offers RT.X10 as a solution for beginners.
To keep the package price down, Matrox restricts itself to the "DV" video format, used by almost all digital camcorders. In comparison to its big brothers, RT.X100 and RT2500, the Matrox X10 does without a number of real-time effects. In spite of this, beginners will rave about the array of remaining effects. Unlike RT.X100 or RT2500, RT.X10 does not offer direct MPEG-2 support. Other video formats like MPEG-2/ DVD or MPEG-4/ DivX can still be imported, but only by means of a time-consuming conversion process.
What Is Included
The $599/ €749 price may seem too high to many, but in our opinion, you're getting a lot. The package comes with a graphics adapter that supports both analog and digital camcorders. The material can be transferred optionally via FireWire cable (digital) or via S-VHS or Cinch. Also included are the widely distributed Adobe Premiere editing software and Matrox utilities that supplement Premiere's capabilities with real-time effects. By comparison: a single-user license for Adobe Premiere is currently listed at US$549/€811 on the Adobe Website.
Cards: maximum effects, minimal chips. In the center, the modified G550 graphics chip, expanded for video editing tasks.
X10 card slot: the IEEE1394/ FireWire (digital video input and output; left), the breakout box port (center) and connected audio port (right).